A white woman who’s got the job all sewn up suddenly finds herself out on her ass, replaced by a black man.
New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson was suddenly fired on Wednesday, less than three years after taking over the top editorial position at the newspaper.
In an article posted on its web site, the Times said Abramson has been “dismissed” and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper.
The first female executive editor at the Times is being replaced by the first African-American to fill the post. Baquet, 57, was Abramson’s hand-picked deputy during her term in office.
“I’ve loved my run at The Times,”Abramson, 60, said in a statement released by the paper. “I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.”
Sulzberger told the employees that Abramson was leaving due to “an issue with management in the newsroom,” adding that there were no editorial issues during her tenure that caused the move. Abramson was not in the newsroom during the announcement, Politico reports.
“I chose to appoint a new leader for our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom,” Sulzberger said, according to the Politico report. “This is not about any disagreement between the newsroom and the business side.”
The Times’ article on the dismissal states “people in the company briefed on the situation described serious tension in [Abramson's] relationship with Mr. Sulzberger, who had been hearing concerns from employees that she was polarizing and mercurial. They had disagreements even before she was appointed executive editor, and she had also had clashes with Mr. Baquet.”
Who said Ms. Abramson was “likable enough”.
Except when she wasn’t:
The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta reported in a blog post that Abramson, the first female to serve as executive editor for the prestigious newspaper, was let go because she demanded “equal pay” to male personnel, a point immediately denied by The Times.
“Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs,” Auletta writes.
“‘She confronted the top brass,’ one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was ‘pushy,’ a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect,” he continued.
Auletta notes that Sulzberger feels the financially-strapped Times needs to be less extravagant with its salaries and that Keller had spent many more years at the paper than Abramson, which would also explain the pension disparity.
He concludes that, whether Abramson was “right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy. A third associate told me, ‘She found out that a former deputy managing editor’ — a man— ‘made more money than she did’ while she was managing editor. ‘She had a lawyer make polite inquiries about the pay and pension disparities, which set them off.’”
Nothing makes working women all warm and fuzzy like being told they’re pushy. (Especially if they’re Jewish, as I suppose Ms. Abramson to be.)
Me, I think this is what got her canned:
Abramson made waves in January when she said in an interview with Al Jazeera that President Obama was operating “the most secretive White House” she has ever covered.
“I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush’s first term,” she said in the interview.
Talk about waving a red flag at a bull! That’s like a Nigerian schoolgirl walking up to a pack of Boko Haram and saying “The sum of the areas of the two squares on the legs (a and b) equals the area of the square on the hypotenuse (c)…asshole!”